Scouting Report of Taylor v. Huerta

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As we move towards the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship and the Super Bowl, the sports analysts fill the airwaves with detailed examinations of the rosters. The average fan listens with a certain degree of skepticism of these so-called experts’ prognostications. Not much is known about a drone enthusiast who is seeking to stop the FAA’s registration rules. Below is an equally superficial review of the players in this litigation.

faa uas registration

John TaylorJohn Taylor, a drone builder and operator, has filed a petition for review of the FAA’s Interim Final Rule Registration and Marking for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. In the case of Taylor v. Huerta (presumably the caption), the petitioner probably alleges a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 USC Chapter 5. To make this initial filing, the mere outline of the basis for review is all that needs to be plead. According to Member Goglia’s article in Forbes, the petitioner “is requesting that the court ‘issue an order declaring that the [FAA’s registration rule] is void’ and prohibited by Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. He alleges that that section specifically prohibits the FAA from promulgating any new rules or regulations regarding model aircraft if they’re flown for hobby or recreational purposes.”

Mr. Taylor is also a lawyer having earned a Juris Doctor from George Washington Law School in 1985. His listing in includes the following employment:

  • “Owner  at Taylor law firm llc
  • Senior  Counsel  at Geico
  • Researcher/Writer  at American bar association
  • Supervisor/Local  Sort  at United parcel service
  • Judicial  LAW  Clerk  at Circuit court for montgomery county, maryland
  • Associate  Attorney  at Protas & spivok, chtd.
  • Principal  at The taylor law firm, llc
  • Associate  Attorney  at Carr, goodson & lee, pc”

{this is a verbatim copy of his listing}

At, Attorney Taylor’s work is described as follows: “If you have questions about immigration, mesothelioma, personal injury, divorce, family law, real estate, bankruptcy, criminal law, child custody, general practice, labor & employment.”

Again, Mr. Goglia’s article includes Mr. Taylor’s assessment of the case:

“He expected other hobby groups or drone manufacturers to file suit against the registration rules but when they didn’t, he decided to step up himself. Although he plainly admits that he has no aviation or administrative law experience, as a long-time litigator, he says he’s up to the challenge.”

And Counsel further explained the status of his case:

“Mr. Taylor requested an emergency stay of the FAA’s registration requirement while the case winds its way through the legal process. That request was denied by the Court of Appeals on December 24, stating that Mr. Taylor ‘has not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review.’ The case will now proceed according to a schedule issued by the Court, with the next filing deadline January 27. The FAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.’”

The IFR is 211 pages long; the document is a well-crafted legal argument in support of the action. Whether the IFR meets the APA standards is a complicated matter. There are substantive arguments to find that the extraordinary procedure is not justified. DoT and FAA will be represented by the appellate lawyers of the Department of Justice. They are most familiar with the APA and the arcane, intellectual practice before US Circuit Courts.

Other parties may file to intervene in this case or may petition another US Court of Appeals for review. When (if) the petitioner’s brief is filed on January 27, the substantive arguments will demonstrate the strength of Mr. Taylor’s case.


ARTICLE: FAA Files Appeal Brief In Closely-Watched Drone Pilot Case

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